1. Leña Brava, Chicago
With his soon-to-open brewpub, Cruz Blanca, serving a somewhat limited menu, chef Rick Bayless has announced plans for an accompanying restaurant in its adjacent space. Food prep at this Baja California-style seafood concept will center around a wood-fired grill, with nary a gas hookup in the place, Bayless said via Facebook.
2. Tratto, Phoenix
3. Il Porcellino, Chicago
This just-opened spot from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises serves as an “homage to the great Italian home cooks around the world,” chef Doug Psaltis said in a statement. Its menu is rife with rustic Italian dishes, including a family-style Sunday Supper. The restaurant is all in the family, too, with the three offspring of LEYE founder Rich Melman at the helm.
4. Mabel’s BBQ, Cleveland
Through his latest concept, chef Michael Symon stakes claim on a barbecue style for Cleveland, creating a flavor all his hometown’s own. Meat served at the 100-seat eatery, which is slated to open April 11, will be slathered in Symon’s “C-Town Sauce,” a mustard-based condiment concocted with local maple syrup, cider vinegar and chili.